I plant maincrop potatoes every year. Last year, I planted 50 Desiree in mid-April, in the usual way (15" apart, in rows 2' apart, in light, sandy soil that had been conditioned and fertilised several weeks earlier), and I harvested them in August. The yield was higher than usual and they all looked very healthy; however, their texture, when cooked (steamed), was very disappointing: extremely dry and crumbly - so dry that they were only fit to eat mashed with butter. Has anyone had a similar experience and, if so, do you know why this happens? We had a prolonged dry spell when the tubers were forming, and I am wondering if I failed to water them sufficiently..
This year a standpipe was installed close to the plot where I grow my potatoes, so I was able to water them in depth throughout the dry spell. I grew the same variety as last year, and prepared the soil in exactly the same way.
I lifted some yesterday and steamed them; they are all very healthy, cook well and have a fine waxy texture - quite different from last year's which were so dry and crumbly.
JohnH was right: last year's crop simply needed more water.